Friday, June 25, 2010

#4 - Monsters Inc. - 2001

My 4th movie that I chose to watch was Disney Pixar's Monsters Inc. This is the most recent movie that I have watched during the beginning of this marathon and probably the best. It is weird to think that this movie was released almost 10 years ago but yet is seems so recent and new. I have easily seen this movie more than any other animated movie on this list and probably any other animated movie ever and its great every time I see it! Below is my review.

Monsters Inc in my mind is one of the top three Disney Pixar films ever made. Spoiler alert here, the other two on my list are ones I have yet to watch this week. I think there are a lot of factors that go into the brilliance of this movie but character selection and voice narratives are two huge ones. I cant emphasize how important these factors are to me when reviewing animated films. In this movie, Disney got it right, dead on, absolutely perfect!! As you may have noticed in my blog about Toy Story Billy Crystal was originally offered the role of Buzz Light Year but declined and afterwards called it the worst decision in his career. He was later offered the role of Mike Wazowski. He was perfect for this character and was easily my favorite one in this film. Sully was voiced by John Goodman who was great but the role was originally offered to Bill Murray. As much as I like Murray I don't see him as Sully and think it was a blessing in disguise Goodman got the role. Randall (Steve Buscemi), Mr. Waternoose (James Coburn), and Celia (Jennifer Tilly) rounded out the most notable characters in the film.

This film's opening scene starts out with a boy sleeping who is awakened by eerie sounds and encounters a monster who has snuck in his room to scare him. It turns out the child scares the monster and chaos ensues. The whole scene is actually just a "scare simulation" for new monsters preparing to move up to the Scare floor. It gives the audience a good view of what the movie is about and introduces us to some interesting looking monsters to start the film. After this we are introduced to the two main characters, James P Sullivan, better know as Sulley, and his sidekick Mike Wazowski as we see them in their apartment getting ready for the word day. This sequence really introduces us to their character personalities and immediately you cant but fall in love with these characters.

As the film moves along we get a glimpse at some other cool looking monsters as Mike and Sulley walk to work. I especially enjoyed watching a slimy character get sucked under the street, great special effects!! As Mike and Sulley enter Monstropolis Power Company building it is quickly evident that Sulley is admired by almost everyone there. He currently holds the scare lead out of all the scare monsters and he is sort of a celebrity. I love how Mike is so proud of the big fellow throughout their initial walk in. As for Mike himself his sweetie pie is Celia who has some cool looking extensions if you ask me. She refer's to Mike as her googlie bear and Tilly's voice for this character is a perfect fit. The next few scenes involve the scare floor and we get to see Randall (the eventual villain) and other unique monsters who scare on the scare floor. I loved the dramatic music entrance as the monsters enter the scare floor with their counterparts awaiting their arrival at the door stations. This entrance was led by none other than Sulley and I enjoyed watching all the monsters prepare for action. The teeth being put in, spikes being sprung, and invisibility taking place was very funny. After this it was time for action and the battle between Randall and Sulley began. Sulley was attempting to break the scare record but Randall briefly took over the lead but after an announcement with this information and a premature celebration by Randall and his team Sulley exited the door at his station and Mike loaded on several tanks of energy (think oxygen looking tanks) into the cart and Sully calmly said, "slumber party" with a smile. The scare floor scene ends with hilarity as one of the monsters comes back with a human sock attached to him. His partner screams out and alarms everyone and the CDA (think men in hazmad suits like Outbreak) spring into action and quickly detonate the sock and give the monster who was infected a quick cleandown that include a shave, wash, and rinse. Truly classic!

After a hard days work Mike is taking his girl to Harryhausens Sushi Restaurant but before leaving Roz who handles the paperwork each day and is a female character voiced by a male actor (Bob Peterson) reminds Mike that his paperwork has not been submitted. Knowing that a late arrival at Harryhausens will possibly cause them a cancellation of their reservation Sulley kindly agrees to go back and get the paperwork at their scare floor station and submit it before he leaves. This is where things get hairy. Upon returning to the scare floor Sulley notices a door left at one of the stations and as he investigates it he finds that a human child has entered the scare floor. Now remember, in Monstropolis human anything = pure chaos and pandemonium so obviously Sulley was none to pleased and freaked out. He did the best he could to capture and hide the child and quickly went to Harryhausens to notify his partner, Mike.

As Mike and Celia are enjoying their meal at a monster version of Bennihana's Sulley enters and notifies Mike of the mishap but while telling him the child gets loose and pure pandemonium or as I like to say, panderlerium (its just more fun) breaks out. As the restaurant patrons and staff go berserk Sulley quickly places the child in a Chinese to go box and flee's the scene with Mike. One funny scene is when they are going back to their apartment Mike states, "that wasn't too bad considering" and then all of a sudden you see a big protective cloud hover over the entire area where Harryhausens stood and you can only imagine that with the CDA taking over Harryhausens would be no more. So much for Mike and Celia's romantic dinner out.

Some of the movies funniest scenes take place after Mike and Sulley bring the child back to their place. As they make every attempt to steer clear from the child while trying to plan a solution to the scenes get funnier and funnier. Whether its Mike spraying himself in the eye with disinfectant, tripping and falling in a trash can, or planning to build an underground tunnel with spoons (my favorite) it was pure comedy. The duo finally subdued the child as Sulley threw from a distance cheerios at the child. As she got tired Sulley led her, by a cheerio trail, into bed where she fell asleep and Sulley would eventually come up with the name Boo for this child. The next morning Sulley and Mike dress the child up like a mini monster and take her to work. With a heavy CDA presence in the building they have to be extra careful. After avoiding some close encounters they attempt to get her back to the scare floor and retrieve her door and put her back in her home. There is a hilarious bathroom sequence with Sulley and Boo as you can tell Sulley is starting to become fond of this child. Eventually Sulley attempts to get Boo back to her door and in doing so find that Randall is stealing screams at the off hour and almost gets himself caught. Barely getting away Randall notices Boo leaving with Sulley and figures out that him and Mike must know more.

As the movie moves along Sulley places Boo in a trash can behind him to protect her of the CDA who approach him for an autograph but when he turns around she is being whisked away by the janitors and sent to the compactor department. Here is where we see Sulley's true feelings for Boo as he believes that he has caused her death as pieces of trash and metal are compacted in front of him and the costume eye Boo was wearing is sticking out. Thankfully and understandably (this is a Disney movie) that was not the case and he finds her but not after Randall has kidnapped Mike and attempts to test his new scream machine on him. Boo's curiosity leads Sulley and her to a backroom where they discover Randall and his assistants evil plan to steal screams out of Mike as he is hooked up to a machine. At one point after a test run on the machine Mike looks like Thunder Lips from The Country Bear Jamboree gang.

In an attempt to rescue Mike, Sulley and I'm sure the entire audience is surprised to see that Mr. Waternoose is actually a villain as well and eventually banishes both Mike and Sulley. As they attempt to get back to the real world, Monstropolis that is, they run into the Abominable Snowman, voiced by Pixar hall of fame of hall of fame voice actors John Ratzenberger. I'm sure everyone knows at this point he has been in every Pixar film ever made so he is like a staple in these films. As Mike and Sulley continue to argue and blame one another they desperately try to get back and eventually do. After some snow cones and a sled race down the side of a slipper snowy mountain they get back and their mission is in full effect. In one of the best adventure filled ending sequences in Pixar's history Mike and Sulley must protect Boo after they rescue her in the room of flying doors (or so I call it) and as Randall attempts at every chance to get her back Mike and Sulley prevail and protect Boo. The film ends with Mike and Sulley saving the day and again another Disney classic is complete.

Although I did not go into detail about the flying door scene at the end, this was easily my favorite part of the movie and the best overall scene in my mind. The effects in this sequence were amazing and the worlds they entered as they opened each door were amazing. I personally wish there was about another 5-10 minutes of this scene alone. My favorite character was Mike Wazowski and he in my mind made the movie. I know most people may like Sulley and Boo bust Mike was by far the funniest and most enjoyable in my mind. I am also including in this blog a picture I drew a few years back for my niece Paige whom when she was younger would call my brother (her Dad) Kitty. Monsters Inc was actually both my niece Paige and my nephew, Reid's favorite movie when they were real young. Sequels are rare in Pixar movies but as the Toy Story franchise showed us they can get better in succession. This is one movie I would love to have seen a sequel too and one that I think could be a blockbuster should they ever entertain the idea. I doubt that it would happen now, 9 years later and I'm sure we would have heard something about it at this point but one never knows. It doesn't really matter though, this movie in itself is a classic and like I said in my mind one of the three best Pixar films ever. With that being said I would give this movie an A+ as I felt it was superb on every level and was flawless throughout.

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